Confidence among small businesses has reached a record high, according to a Federation of Small Business (FSB) survey.

The Small Business Index, the FSB’s measure of business confidence, reached +41 in the third quarter of the year, the first time the barometer has reached this high with every sector showing optimism for the next three months.

According to the report, 61% of those surveyed are expecting to grow in the next 12 months while 11% expect to grow rapidly

A third expected turnover to rise in the next three months and 17% expected profits to rise. More (+5%) small businesses increased headcounts during the quarter, boosting employment figures.

FSB national chairman John Allen urged politicians to capitalise on this optimism and help small businesses grow further.

“We’re seeing record breaking confidence from our members which suggests small firms will continue to spearhead the UK’s recovery,” he said. “We want policy makers to lock in this optimism and continue to back the self-employed and small businesses. As we head in to party conference season, we’ll be looking to all the political parties to spell out what they will do to encourage job creation, investment and reward entrepreneurs in the next Parliament.”